INE data show a 1.9% increase in business investment in 2018, 5.1% less than what was predicted for the year. For 2019, the forecast is a growth of 4.4%, mainly due to the contribution of companies in the 4th and 2nd categories.
It will be mainly the larger companies that will boost the growth of business investment.
According to the INE, companies in the 4th category (500 or more employees) contributed an increase of 6.9% and those in the 2nd category (between 50 and 249 employees), an increase of 9.7% in business investment was observed, with an emphasis on transportation and warehousing and wholesale and retail trade.
The investment diffusion indicator, or in other words, the percentage of companies that mention they have carried out investments or have the intention to invest, has shown a downward trend of 89.4%, 80.2% and 77.9% %, in 2017, 2018 and 2019, respectively.
Companies identify the deterioration in sales prospects as the main limiting factor for business investment in the last two years, with an increase in the relative weight of insufficient self-financing capacity and deterioration in sales prospects and a reduction in the difficulties associated with obtaining bank credit and the difficulty in hiring qualified personnel ".
For 2019, investment-oriented towards rationalization and restructuring is gaining more weight, as opposed to the investment associated with the extension of production capacity and replacement, that should decrease.
Despite the decline in importance, replacement investments were the most commonly mentioned objective for 2019.
In the manufacturing sector, and in particular for exporting companies, investment is expected to increase by 6.1% in 2018. By 2019, the outlook is a decrease of 2.3%.